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DAILY TRACKING – SEPTEMBER 23, 2008

Tories are the party of men and the over-65s, but not bound by class

[OTTAWA – September 23, 2008] With all the parties once again today tracking steadily in their well-established “zones”, it’s a chance to look at where the front-running Conservatives are finding their support; and while the typical Tory voter has some of the characteristics you might expect – older and much more likely to be male – somewhat more surprisingly, the party’s appeal now cuts across economic classes.

We’ve said it before: if only men could vote, Stephen Harper would easily triumph with a healthy majority. Forty per cent of men support the Conservatives. But if only women could vote, the Conservatives would be fighting to squeak out a win. Just 33% of women support the party.

Right now, the Conservatives are winning every age category, from youngest to oldest. But there are huge differences in the levels of support. Among seniors (over 65 years of age), the Conservatives have 44%. The second-place Liberals, with 28%, aren’t even close.

The middling age cohorts track quite closely to the national norm. But then, when you get to the 18-25 year olds, the story is different again. The Conservatives are narrowly in the lead in a four-way race, with 27%. And who is in second spot? The Green Party. The Liberals and NDP trail not too far behind.

Perhaps the most fascinating story, however, has to do with household income. Contrary to the conventional picture of the Conservatives as the party of the better-off, they are an almost completely uniform across income groups in terms of their support. In other words, whether you are making less than $40,000 a year or more than $80,000, your likelihood of voting Conservative is almost exactly the same. Our other recent and more in-depth surveys have also shown that these voters tend to see themselves as being of middle rather than upper socioeconomic standing, and are more likely to be college rather than university-educated.

In contrast, the Liberals, once the prototypical class-less party, now skew clearly towards wealthier voters. The NDP, more in keeping with expectations, skew towards lower-income voters, as does the Bloc Québécois. The Greens, like the Tories, draw their support fairly evenly across income groups.

The Tories have serious demographic handicaps in the breadth of their appeal. They still have not connected with women. They are struggling to connect with urban voters. And they have not caught on with the very young the way they have with other age-groups. Unless they do so, they are going to have difficulty rising above the “glass ceiling” which seems to have prevented the party from rising from their accustomed levels of support.

But that should not disguise a historic accomplishment by the Conservatives, to have shucked off the trappings of class, appealing as much to Joe Lunch-Bucket as to the more prosperous who once were their main social base.

Detailed Tables:

National Federal Vote Intention

Q. If a federal election were held tomorrow, which party would you vote for?

BASE: Decided Voters

CANADA

BC

AB

SK/MB

ON

QC

ATL

n=

2854

721

165

134

773

692

369

Margin of error (+/-)=

1.8

3.7

7.6

8.5

3.5

3.7

5.1

Conservative

36

42

58

45

37

22

35

Liberal

25

20

13

20

33

18

30

NDP

19

25

14

21

18

15

23

Green

12

12

15

14

12

9

12

Bloc Québécois

8

0

0

0

0

35

0

Daily Tracking of Federal Vote Intention

September

BASE: Decided Voters

3

11

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

Conservative

38

36

35

38

38

38

36

36

36

37

36

Liberal

26

26

25

23

23

24

25

25

25

24

25

NDP

15

19

19

19

18

18

18

18

18

19

19

Green

11

11

11

11

11

12

13

13

12

12

12

Bloc Québécois

9

8

9

9

10

8

8

8

9

8

8

National Federal Vote Intention

Q. If a federal election were held tomorrow, which party would you vote for?

BASE: Decided Voters

CANADA

Gender

Age

Income

M

F

<25

25-44

45-64

65

<$40K

$40-80K

$80K

n=

2854

1358

1496

236

896

1161

561

973

1036

845

Margin of error (/-)=

1.8

2.7

2.5

6.4

3.3

2.9

4.1

3.1

3.0

3.4

Conservative

36

40

33

27

35

37

44

36

36

38

Liberal

25

24

26

21

24

26

28

21

25

29

NDP

19

16

21

20

20

18

15

22

17

16

Green

12

12

11

25

11

10

8

11

13

11

Bloc Québécois

8

7

10

7

11

9

6

10

9

6

Likelihood of Changing Vote Intention

Q. How likely is it that you will change your mind between now and the federal election?

Current Vote Intention

BASE: Decided Voters

CANADA

CPC

LPC

NDP

GP

BQ

Undecided

Not likely (1-3)

74

83

77

75

66

78

37

Somewhat likely (4)

9

6

10

8

12

8

16

Likely (5-7)

17

10

13

17

23

14

47

Daily Tracking of Likelihood of Changing Vote Intention

September

BASE: Decided Voters

% “likely” by vote intention

17

18

19

20

21

22

Conservative

11

11

11

11

11

10

Liberal

15

16

16

16

13

13

NDP

15

16

17

19

18

17

Green

22

21

19

17

18

23

Bloc Québécois

18

16

16

15

14

14

Undecided

51

48

43

45

49

47

Likelihood of Changing Vote Intention

Q. How likely is it that you will change your mind between now and the federal election?

BASE: Decided Voters

CANADA

Sex

Age

Income

M

F

<25

25-44

45-64

65+

<$40K

$40-80K

+$80K

Not likely (1-3)

74

78

70

68

72

74

82

71

76

75

Somewhat likely (4)

9

7

10

12

11

9

5

9

8

10

Likely (5-7)

17

15

19

21

18

17

14

20

16

15

Second Choice

Q. Which Party would be your second choice?

Current Vote Intention

BASE: Decided Voters

CANADA

CPC

LPC

NDP

GP

BQ

Undecided

NDP

19

18

31

0

24

29

9

Liberal

17

21

0

32

29

13

12

Green

15

11

24

24

0

13

10

Conservative

10

0

19

17

14

14

6

Bloc Québécois

5

4

4

7

7

0

3

No second choice

34

46

22

20

26

32

61

Daily Tracking of Second Choice

September

BASE: Decided Voters

17

18

19

20

21

22

NDP

18

19

20

20

18

19

Liberal

17

17

16

17

17

17

Green

15

15

15

14

14

15

Conservative

11

10

10

10

10

10

Bloc Québécois

5

4

5

5

5

5

No second choice

35

34

35

35

35

34

Second Choice

Q. Which Party would be your second choice?

BASE: Decided Voters

CANADA

Sex

Age

Income

M

F

<25

25-44

45-64

65+

<$40K

$40-80K

+$80K

NDP

19

19

18

15

20

20

15

17

20

18

Liberal

17

17

18

19

18

17

15

15

18

19

Green

15

15

15

12

17

15

13

14

15

16

Conservative

10

9

11

11

10

10

10

10

10

10

Bloc Québécois

5

4

5

6

6

5

2

5

4

5

No second choice

34

36

32

37

29

33

45

39

32

32

Methodology:

EKOS’ daily tracking polls are conducted using Interactive Voice Recognition (IVR) technology, which allows respondents to enter their preferences by punching the keypad on their phone, rather than telling them to an operator. Each weekday evening, a nationally representative sample of approximately 1,000 Canadians, 18 years of age and older is surveyed.

The daily tracking number presented in this report is based on a three-day rolling average of surveys collected September 20, 21, and 22. The margin of error associated with this three-day rolling sample of 2,854 decided voters (including leaning) is /-1.8 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

Please note that the margin of error increases when the results are sub-divided (i.e., error margins for sub-groups such as region, sex, age, income). All the data have been statistically weighted to ensure the samples composition reflects that of the actual population of Canada according to Census data.

Click here to download PDF: election-08-daily-tracking-sept23

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